Uses of Wood Ash

ash

This time of year we produce a steady supply of ash from our wood-burning stoves, our primary source of heat. I get an odd thrill from collecting the ash and putting it to use. Ash from hardwood is very fine, with an almost soapy consistency. It’s loose but sort of coagulates, clustering as though magnetic or statically charged. I’m very curious about the material and have been enjoying collecting ideas for its uses. Here are several:

  • compost enrichment
  • fertilizer (especially for tomatoes)
  • snail deterrent
  • deodorizer (in the chicken coop)
  • add water to make lye for soap
  • glass cleaner
  • silver cleaner

I’d love to hear of any other ideas for how to use wood ash.


5 replies on “Uses of Wood Ash”

  1. I recently planted four olive trees at the edge of the meadow -and mixed a combination of wood ash and gypsum in the soil at the bottom of each hole. I know the ashes came from trees that grew in this area. Full cycle.

  2. Offer the wood ash to a potter friend. Wood ash is used as a component in some ceramic glaze recipes.

  3. Hi Ben- Thanks for the tip! I have made biodiesel in the past, as part of an art project which you can explore here:
    http://www.thewowhaus.com/CURRENT/friesel/frieselNEW.html

    I agree, making lye is a great use for wood ash in the production of biodiesel fuel, which also produces glycerin as a byproduct, from which we could make soap. In a perfect world, I would close all of the loops towards some beneficial end use on our property..

  4. White ash works wonders at drawing out insect hairs and stingers. And with that it relieves the itch/sting.

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